Notable members of the creative team behind Wonder Woman reveal the reason they decided to change her origin story quite a bit – explaining that it has something to do with the similarities of the kind of world we are living in now to that of Diana’s in the movie. The parallelism between the predicament in 1918 makes the film’s narrative much more relatable despite its fantastical aspects.
In the Gal Gadot-starring film, Diana’s sheltered life in Themyscira is suddenly disrupted when she finds an unconscious Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) on the shores of the isolated island. After taking him in, the U.S. spy then informs the Amazonian warriors of the ongoing war prompting Diana to leave home in order to put a stop to the armed conflict. The difference however, is that in the comic books, despite Diana being also part of a war, she was a nurse instead of an outsider suddenly jumping in the middle of chaos in the hopes of resolving the tension.
In an interview with EW, Wonder Woman screenwriter Allan Heinberg explains the key elements that started the first world war in the early 20th century are somehow starting to reemerge in this day and age. “We are in a very WWI world today with nationalism and how it would take very little to start a global conflict,” he said.
Director Patty Jenkins admittedly was initially skeptical about the chosen time frame backdrop for the film. She shared in the same conversation that at first, she was dubious of the notion of pulling away from the original vision of the character’s creator, William Moulton Marston, and introducing a new one. However, after a couple of deliberations, she realized that the planned change is actually a “genius” idea.
“World War I is the first time that civilization as we know it was finding its roots, but it’s not something that we really know the history of. Even the way that it was unclear who was in the right of WWI is a really interesting parallel to this time. Then you take a god with a moral compass and a moral belief system, and you drop them into this world, there are questions about women’s rights, about a mechanized war where you don’t see who you are killing. It’s such a cool time.”
With a heavy chunk of Wonder Woman‘s powers being fantastical, it is arguably a bit difficult to relate to a character like her. But with her story deeply rooted on at least a historical global phenomenon, its gives the audience some sort of connection to the character – almost like a shared history. In addition to that, the film obviously tried to emphasize her humanity as much as her nifty gadgets and immortality.
It has been a while since comic book movie fans were treated with a superhero whose sole motivation is to help people and promote the greater good. Wonder Woman offers a fresh take on that base level superhero story and it helps inspire people to also do good because it is the right thing to do.